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Martin, Edwin M.
Goodyera pubescens (Willd.) R. Br.
Downy rattlesnake plantain
Synonym(s): Peramium pubescens
USDA Symbol: GOPU
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A cylindrical cluster of many small, white, round flowers atop a leafless, woolly stalk rising from a rosette of dark blue-green, white-veined leaves.
The highly decorative leaves of this plant are most unusual and often collected for terraria, a practice to be discouraged. A smaller species, Dwarf Rattlesnake Plantain (G. repens), has flowers less than 1/4 (6 mm) long on only one side of the flowering stalk. Two species found in Canada and the northern states are Checkered Rattlesnake Plantain (G. tesselata), which has dull green leaves mottled with paler lines, and Greenleaf Rattlesnake Plantain (G. oblongifolia), which has leaves usually with only one main white vein. The common names refer to the mottled leaves, which resemble a snakes skin, a similarity that once suggested their use as a snakebite remedy.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
Ontario east to New Brunswick, south to Florida, west to Louisiana and Oklahoma, and north through Missouri to Minnesota. Native Habitat:
Dry or moist, deciduous
or coniferous woods and well-drained wooded slopes.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2010-06-06
Research By: TWC Staff